English 430: Literature & the Visual Arts

December 15, 2009

Eye Candy Laced With Acid

Filed under: Uncategorized — corricrystal @ 6:37 pm

In all honesty I have never tried acid (I really haven’t), but I think viewing What It Is, is what an acid trip probably feels like; without the negative side effects. This book is ‘trippy.’ I suddenly feel like a spaced out surfer, or skater when describing Barry’s work, but it seems fitting. I don’t know if this is a children’s book that adults will appreciate, or book for adults that are children at heart. There are fun pictures and references to comic book illustrators, like R. Crumb (113).  There is sooo much eye candy laced with acid, but there are also insightful questions, “What is reflection? How does it differ from thinking? How does it come about?” (98). This book is so visually stimulating that I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. I need to take breaks and go back to it so that I can try to take it all in. It is a highly intricate form of visual art. It is reminiscent of a children’s journal, which only a highly evolved child could create. It is a fascinating collage of words and images. The melding of words and images epitomizes the many discussions we have had throughout the semester. They complement each other brilliantly. I love the lines on page 135, “To be able to stand not knowing long enough to let something alive take shape! Without the two questions so much is possible. To all the kids who quit drawing come back!” It reminds me of Keats’ notion of ‘negative capability.’ In which the greatest creation comes out of being comfortable with the unknown, and uncertainty. We must release the ego and simply write (or draw). The visual equivalent for me is the freedom one feels when riding a bike with no hands. It is scary but liberating.

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